Active food packaging systems are enabling soldiers in the field to enjoy a larger variety of foods, such as barbeque chicken sandwiches, waffles, Combos, and M&M cookies. And coming soon is the classic peanut butter and jelly sandwich.
"Active packaging," sometimes referred to as interactive or "smart" packaging, may be an actual package structure or an adjunct, such as a sachet or patch containing a responsive chemical or physical agent. Oxygen scavenging is one class of widely used active packaging technology, for example, whereby iron-based pouches or sachets are inserted into individual food packages to retard oxidation and spoilage. Oxygen is a major factor in food product degradation, which is of concern especially for a military ration, which may not reach its ultimate consumer until one to two years after its date-of-pack. Oxygen scavengers provide maximum preservation of original flavor, color and texture, which is important to military and civilian consumers alike.